The Royals and Rangers organizations on Thursday mourned the passing of City of Surprise director of community and recreation services Mark Coronado, the man instrumental in the planning and construction of the Spring Training facility both clubs have shared in Surprise, Ariz., since 2003. Coronado died on Thursday at age 59 after a long illness.
Since Surprise Stadium opened in 2002, Coronado has overseen the day-to-day operations of the 10,500-seat Cactus League ballpark and its accompanying practice fields and office spaces. He was also involved in facility's renovations for both teams in 2016.
"He was the driving force in convincing both the Royals and Rangers to make the move from Florida to Arizona for Spring Training," Royals senior VP of business operations Kevin Uhlich said in a statement. "His efforts and dedication to the project have allowed both of our franchises to flourish in our year-round training programs in Surprise. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark, his family and the staff that assists us so ably in Surprise."
"It was his vision, determination, and years of effort that resulted in Major League Baseball coming to Surprise," Rangers executive vice president of business operations Rob Matwick said in a statement. "The Rangers and Royals have a strong and successful relationship with the City of Surprise because of Mark. He will be greatly missed, and we express our deepest sympathies to his family, colleagues and friends at this difficult time."
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.